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Friday, 8 July 2016

Flyer Distribution Services Are Not Always Cost Saving

If you're thinking that flyer distribution services are cost saving, you may be mistaken. You need help out of the marketing maze.

The Problem With Flyers

At my office, I always have a problem with the oversupply of flyers. These flyer distributors hire people to walk to shoplots and stuff one flyer into each letterbox. The problem is, some of these "hired hands" tend to stuff three, four or more flyers (of the same flyer) into each letterbox. They want to be fast, and they know that their boss won't be able to check. And so, to cut corners, they stuff a few more into some letterboxes. It's almost like throwing flyers into the drain.

Note: Flyers are also described as "leaflets".

And The Misconception

The small business owner who wants to publicize his business will probably hire a flyer distributor. They promise to distribute flyers, brochures, posters, newsletters, and God knows what else, to thousands of letterboxes at very, very attractive prices. It might be between 3 sen to 5 sen per flyer, with minimum orders of about 3,000 letterboxes. 

But the people they hire to distribute them may not be interested in the promise that the flyer distributor has made. They may be schoolboys, or school dropouts. They may be drug addicts, or men out of work. They may be doing it on a part time basis. Whatever it is, they only want to distribute the stack that they have been given. And so, as they trudge down the five foot ways and walk from shoplot to shoplot, they discriminately stuff two or three, or more, into each letterbox. 

Doing so helps them to cut down the time needed to do the job. It also helps to cut down the number of letterboxes needed to do the job. It cuts down the distance they need to walk. And, at the end of the day, they will still get paid. Nobody knows whether they've skipped a shoplot or two. Nobody knows if they skip a bunch of letterboxes and bomb another bunch with indiscriminate stuffings.

And The Guarantee They Don't Give

Unless, the flyer distributor makes a guarantee that he will conduct random checks...! And these random checks might be the flyer distributor's way of guaranteeing...
  • No letterbox bombing (i.e. indiscriminate stuffing with duplicate copies of the same flyer)
  • No skipping
  • No throwing a whole bunch on the floor and the staircases.

Imagine If You Were The Recipient 

Yes, if you were the letterbox owner, and you walked down the stairs only to see that the whole floor is covered with flyers that you never asked for. Some of these flyers are for a certain Buddhist monk who grants good luck charms, and invite you to go get your good luck as well. Some of these are for loan sharks, who promise instant cash (and later bash). Some of these are for massage parlours. And the rest may be legitimate businesses, but they are snowed under and drowned under the unwelcome messages that accompany them.

As a letterbox owner, I'd be inclined to gather the whole bunch together and throw them all away. 

Because I need the floor to be clean. How would my customers feel about walking up a staircase covered with these types of flyers?

Because I need my letterbox for legitimate mail. How else can the postman put letters into my letterbox, when it's been stuffed to the brim?

And because I need my place to appear professional. How can I honestly project a professional image when my letterbox looks like it's been beaten up by a thug?

My Advice To You

Don't start with flyer distributors that do a slipshod job of it.

Don't employ flyer distributors that also distribute flyers for loan sharks and Buddhist monks that give out good luck charms.

Don't employ flyer distributors that will distribute your flyer with a whole bunch of other unrelated flyers, and dump it in a stack into an unsuspecting letterbox.

Do get recommendations for good flyer distributors. (I've hardly heard of any who are highly recommended by people that I admire. Most would recommend a nephew or an ageing aunt who's doing it to supplement their income.)

Do check the letterboxes of shoplots to verify whether the area has been letterbox-bombed. That's a sign that anyone can simply walk into the area and security is poor.

Do try to move away from distributing flyers and move towards more personalized advertising. It's the age of relationship marketing, especially when we are already bombarded with advertisements in the social media.

Do drop flyer distribution entirely in favour of social media. It might be cheaper.

Don't forget that a fool and his money are soon parted.